A summary of Friday’s action at the World Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong.
The world’s best are back to battle it out on the pitch at the HK7s this weekend. Day 1 set the tone with an action-packed schedule that delivered on all fronts: world-class rugby match-ups, live entertainment and the kind of atmosphere that’s unique to the Hong Kong Stadium on 7s weekend.
After the mini and youth teams made their mark on the pitch in the morning, the French women’s team kicked things off with a statement win against Japan, finishing 38-7. They were followed closely by the USA, Fiji and Australia who came out on top against Spain, Ireland and Brazil respectively. Closing off the first round of women’s matches, Great Britain beat Canada 5-0 while our own Hong Kong China faced off against the team to beat – the inimitable New Zealand Black Ferns – who took the lead with a 50-0 win.
Bar France and New Zealand, who have already qualified, all sides were chasing Olympic qualification. The second round of women’s matches in the late afternoon saw Australia and USA secure their spot at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games by beating Ireland and Japan respectively to reach the Quarter Finals. France and Fiji also took the lead while New Zealand closed off their day with a flourish, scoring 43-0 against Great Britain. Though Canada took the win, Hong Kong China had the crowds roaring with the highlight of the day thus far: the HKG women’s team’s first try in the World Series, brought home by Agnes Tse.
At the end of Day 1, the women’s teams from Australia, New Zealand, France, Fiji and USA have already reached the last 8 of the women’s competition.
The excitement built as the men’s teams took to the pitch, with the first four matches kicking off at 14:40. Series leader New Zealand proved their power in a 29-5 clash against Kenya, while South Africa held their own against Ireland, finishing 14-7. Australia, looking to continue their success after breaking a 34-year drought and taking home the cup in November 2022, eased into the weekend with a 26-5 win against Japan. Fiji and Spain had the crowds cheering as they came out on top against Samoa and the USA respectively, while Argentina – looking for their first Hong Kong title –secured a 17-7 win against Canada. Though France took the win in the final match of the day, it was our HKG men’s team that created chaos with their blitzing defense and energetic rucking – greatly appreciated by the cheering crowds – and who took the excitement to another level by scoring not one, but two nail-biting, foot-stomping late tries. To top off the day, veteran player Yiu Kam Shing won his 70th cap for Hong Kong China - an unbelievable achievement for such a well respected player in our game!
Opening this year’s HK7s with a high-energy, higher impact performance was Cantopop queen Joyce Cheng and the Chris Polanco Band. The day came to a close at 9pm with the promise of bigger battles and unbeatable energy still to come this weekend.
Stay up to date with the action as it unfolds with our Match Centre!